Archive for January, 2006
29 Jan 2006

How to be a Left-Wing Blogger

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We were just discussing the noisy demands of the leftwing blogosphere that democrat senators hold their breaths until they turn blue to prevent the confirmation of Samuel Alito. James Lileks says these rules are for making a fool of yourself, but I’d say he has really just identified several of the characteristic features of the customary literary style of the leftwing blogosphere. It always amazes me that anybody can take the ravings of those foulmouthed trolls seriously:

Make Up Funny Names. If a right-wing figure’s name starts with K, like Kate, by all means call her KKKate. Everyone on the right probably shares the values of the Klan, anyway. Especially if they’re against affirmative action and don’t believe in judging people on the color of their skin. (This goes for the other side, too: Hillary Clinton is so much funnier as “Hitlery.” Wanting single-payer health insurance, wishing to enslave Europe under Aryan yoke — what’s the diff?) Remember: Boil down the object of your hate to a single phrase that betrays your incomprehension of the fundamental issues, but lets others know where you stand right away.

Swear angrily. Not just the classics, but the ones relating to excretion and genitalia. Nothing shows you’re a serious thinker like a torrent of obscenities. It’s the reason Courtney Love is invited to speak to the U.N. so often. Added bonus: Lots of cursing means no one will suspect you’re a Christian. If you are a Christian, you’ll be one of the cool ones who listens to Howard Stern spank lesbian midget strippers. Which automatically means you’re pro-choice, so whatever with the G-d thing.

Hyperbolize everything. Granted, everyone punches a little too hard sometimes; everyone throws too deep. Feisty debate is energizing. Nothing is more boring than the torpid droning you get in the Senate, where solons are duty-bound to call each other “my good friend” even if they were stabbing each other with Bic pens in the cloakroom five minutes before. But the pestilential keyboard pounders had best realize they’re just screaming to the choir. Persuading the middle means acknowledging that the opposition is not composed of subhuman Moorlocks who hope global warming drowns coastal-dwelling gay stem-cell researchers. People on the right may be wrong, but it’s quite possible they don’t actually want a fascistic corporate state where the elite tour the country in giant hovercraft, vaporizing Wal-Mart labor organizers with microwave rays. You could treat them like fellow human beings. But where’s the fun in that?

Hat tip to Glenn Reynolds.

28 Jan 2006

Dick Posner on Electronic Surveillance

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Posner brings lucidity and skepticism to the NSA electronic surveillance brouhaha in New Republic.

28 Jan 2006

What Liberals can Learn from George W. Bush

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Vasko Kohlmayer explains What Liberals can Learn from George W. Bush.

A relative few presidents in this country’s history have endured the kind of vicious and spurious attacks that have been leveled against George Bush. Completely abandoning any sense of decorum or statesmanship, some of the highest officials in the Democratic Party have repeatedly called him a liar, a loser, an election-thief, an airhead, and a fraud. Regularly likened to Hitler, there have been books discussing his assassination. Recently he was even dubbed the world’s greatest terrorist by one of America’s once-prominent entertainers . There are just a few of examples. Sadly, such views are increasingly becoming part of the mainstream liberal outlook.

But no matter how malicious they have been, George Bush has always faced his critics with affability and goodwill.

28 Jan 2006

Why the Democrat Party is Doomed

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Even the Washington Post can see the Democrat Party’s leftwing activist base functions as an albatross around its neck, assuring that it will never get back into power. Fighting the Alito nomination is futile, but the looney-tune left is spoiling for a fight anyway, and the war-drums of the leftwing blogosphere are beating loudly as the vote approaches:

Democrats are getting an early glimpse of an intraparty rift that could complicate efforts to win back the White House: fiery liberals raising their voices on Web sites and in interest groups vs. elected officials trying to appeal to a much broader audience.

These activists — spearheaded by battle-ready bloggers and making their influence felt through relentless e-mail campaigns — have denounced what they regard as a flaccid Democratic response to the Supreme Court fight, President Bush’s upcoming State of the Union address and the Iraq war. In every case, they have portrayed party leaders as gutless sellouts…

“The bloggers and online donors represent an important resource for the party, but they are not representative of the majority you need to win elections,” said Steve Elmendorf, a Democratic lobbyist who advised Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign. “The trick will be to harness their energy and their money without looking like you are a captive of the activist left.”

For a fine example of moonbat reasoning, written by an author who would never dream of imagining that her political opponents have a point of view representing anything beyond insensate malice, incapable of understanding or respecting any form of process, try Angelica’s If not now, then when? rant.

28 Jan 2006

New GOP Ad

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We Killed the Patriot Act! declares Harry Reid.

28 Jan 2006

Ted Kennedy Reviewed

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John Lofton notes some of the ironies of Senator Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts sitting in judgement on Samuel Alito’s ethics and integrity:

Kennedy among other things:

— Was suspended from Harvard because of cheating when he was caught getting another student to take a Spanish test for him.

— Had his father get his Army duty changed to two years from the four years he signed up for. He ended up a guard at NATO headquarters in Paris rather than in Korea where a war was going on.

— Was turned down by Harvard Law School because of poor grades.

— Was arrested four times, while a student at the University of Virginia, for reckless driving, racing with a cop to avoid arrest and for operating a vehicle without a license.

MARY JO KOPECHNE might have been saved if help summoned immediately, according to underwater diver who retrieved her body— Killed a young woman, Mary Jo Kopechne, by driving her off a bridge on Chappaquiddick Island in 1969. Following this “accident,” which was, arguably, negligent homicide, Kennedy made 17 credit card phone calls. But it was not until the 18th phone call, nine hours after his car ran off this bridge, that Kennedy reported this “accident.” The frogman who retrieved the dead girl’s body said that he believed she might have been saved if help had been summoned immediately. Kennedy received a two-month suspended sentence, serving no time in jail.

28 Jan 2006

Religion of Peace Rag


28 Jan 2006

Captain Nemo, Watch Out!


A 45 kg. (99 lb. — but who exactly weighed him?) Giant Pacific Octopus last November became annoyed, and was filmed attacking a $200,000 remote controlled submarine being used for salmon research off the west coast of Vancouver Island.


The aggressor would have been Enteroctopus dofleini, a species which can be much bigger. The Giant Pacific Octopus is rumored to reach 30 feet (9.1 m) across and be capable of weighing more than 600 pounds (272 kg), the record specimen actually weighed 400 pounds (182 kg) and had an arm span of 25 feet (7.6 m).

Hat tip to Glenn Reynolds.

27 Jan 2006

High Culture’s Revenge

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Actor’s Studio James Lipton delivers a dramatic reading of the lyrics of rapper Kevin Federline’s PopoZow.

27 Jan 2006

My Preferred Approach

Flight Safety.

Hat tip to Joe N.

27 Jan 2006

Google’s Chinese Surrender

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Charles Johnson at Little Green Footballs yesterday illuminated the impact of Google’s shameful surrender to censorship at the behest of the Communist government of China by linking

tiananmen – Google Image Search.


tiananmen – Google Image Search in China.

When I visited Little Green Footballs earlier today, and attempted to compare Google image search results, clicking on the China-version link resulted in my browser being automatically redirected to the US version. I found it impossible to access the censored China version.

US url:

China url:



I leapt to the conclusion that Google had deliberately arranged to preclude US viewers from accessing the China-censored-version of the Tiananmen Image Search, but my wife informed me that the China url worked on her PC.

I found, looking into the matter further, that the url worked in Firefox on my own PC. Subsequent reports from other people tell me that the url works inconsistently in MS Explorer on other machines. It is not possible for me to identify the causes, but it seems most likely that these varying results are occasioned simply by the interactions of different software, and are not the result of any deliberate action by Google.

27 Jan 2006

Time to Face the Facts


Gerard Baker, writing in the London Times, suggests that it’s time to start facing up to reality and becoming prepared to do what is necessary:

If Iran gets safely and unmolested to nuclear status, it will be a threshold moment in the history of the world, up there with the Bolshevik Revolution and the coming of Hitler. What the country itself may do with those weapons, given its pledges, its recent history and its strategic objectives with regard to the US, Israel and their allies, is well known. We can reasonably assume that the refusal of the current Iranian leadership to accept the Holocaust as historical fact is simply a recognition of their own plans to redefine the notion as soon as they get a chance (“Now this is what we call a holocaust”). But this threat is only, incredibly, a relatively small part of the problem.

If Iran goes nuclear, it will demonstrate conclusively that even the world’s greatest superpower, unrivalled militarily, under a leadership of proven willingness to take bold military steps, could not stop a country as destabilising as Iran from achieving its nuclear ambitions.

No country in a region that is so riven by religious and ethnic hatreds will feel safe from the new regional superpower. No country in the region will be confident that the US and its allies will be able or willing to protect them from a nuclear strike by Iran. Nor will any regional power fear that the US and its allies will act to prevent them from emulating Iran. Say hello to a nuclear Syria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia.

Iran, of course, secure now behind its nuclear wall, will surely step up its campaign of terror around the world. It will become even more of a magnet and haven for terrorists. The terror training grounds of Afghanistan were always vulnerable if the West had the resolve. Protected by a nuclear-missile-owning state, Iranian camps will become impregnable.

And the kind of society we live in and cherish in the West, a long way from Tehran or Damascus, will change beyond recognition. We balk now at intrusive government measures to tap our phones or stop us saying incendiary things in mosques. Imagine how much more our freedoms will be curtailed if our governments fear we are just one telephone call or e-mail, one plane journey or truckload away from another Hiroshima.

Something short of military action may yet prevail on Iran. Perhaps sanctions will turn their leadership from its doomsday ambitions. Perhaps Russia can somehow be persuaded to give them an incentive to think again. But we can’t count on this optimistic scenario now. And so we must ready ourselves for what may be the unthinkable necessity.

Because in the end, preparation for war, by which I mean not military feasibility planning, or political and diplomatic manoeuvres but a psychological readiness, a personal willingness on all our parts to bear the terrible burdens that it will surely impose, may be our last real chance to ensure that we can avoid one.

27 Jan 2006



I’ve watched most of two seasons of 24. The show relies on the kinds of coincidences of which Victorian novelists were overly fond, and the plots can be predictable: somebody is always going to kidnap Jack’s nearest and dearest — there’s always a mole in the CTU — Jack is always going off the reservation. And plot twists used to escalate viewer tension can be absolutely absurd: Jack once refuses to let a dying man take his place on a suicide mission, because he isn’t sure that chap will do the job perfectly in his impaired health. We must be 110% safe, you know. Jack survives anyway, of course.

But if you watch a few sequentially, and start getting concerned about that ticking bomb and the fate of the hostages, and begin rooting for Jack Bauer to begin delivering some good old fashioned American justice, they can become addictive. The body counts are impressive, and sooner or later Jack is going to interogate some deserving terrorist. One morning I’m going to run into Glenn Reynolds burbling happily about the release of the however-many-seasons-there-are set on DVD, and I will be a goner and Amazon will be a little richer.

The Listkeeper commenting on Polipundit supplies a list of facts about Jack Bauer:

(An excerpt)

5) Jack Bauer once forgot where he put his keys. He then spent the next half-hour torturing himself until he gave up the location of the keys.
6) Jack Bauer got Hellen Keller to talk.
7) Jack Bauer killed 93 people in just 4 days time. Wait, that is a real fact.
8) Jack Bauer was never addicted to heroin. Heroin was addicted to Jack Bauer.
9) 1.6 billion Chinese are angry with Jack Bauer. Sounds like a fair fight.

Hat tip to Tom Maguire who titled the whole list I Need a Hero.

27 Jan 2006

Laughing at the Democrats

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Stephen Green has some fun reflecting on democrat electoral prospects.

In the space of 48 hours, the three top Democrats for 2008 proved themselves to have all the staying power of a nervous virgin on the set of a porn shoot.

If this is how the Democrats play when not much seems to be going well for Bush, then they’re toast. It’s too soon to predict exactly what will happen in 2008. But if today is any indication, then I can make a confident prediction about this year’s midterm election: The Republicans will gain a seat or two in the Senate, and at the very least hold even in the House.

Year Six of any administration is usually poison for the party. If we had something like a loyal opposition in this country, that would be as true in 2006 as it was in 1986.

But it isn’t. And it won’t be. Mark my words.

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